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Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha to be included in Union Government’s list of iconic tourism sites

This will help attract more tourists, especially the ones from abroad to the park to explore its water bodies, lush mangrove forest along with crocodiles, birds snakes and other animals. 

Published: 16th February 2020 11:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th February 2020 11:19 AM   |  A+A-

A 23-foot long crocodile found in the park had made it to Guinness Book of World Records

A 23-foot long crocodile found in the park had made it to Guinness Book of World Records

By Express News Service

KENDRAPARA: The Bhitarkanika National Park will be soon included in Union Government’s list of iconic tourism sites, said State Tourism and Culture Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi said here on Friday. 

Addressing a meeting at Nalitapatia village near the park after inaugurating the first Bhitarkanika Festival, he said the State Tourism department had recently urged the Centre to include the park and Sun Temple of Konark in its iconic tourism site list.

This will help attract more tourists, especially the ones from abroad to the park to explore its water bodies, lush mangrove forest along with crocodiles, birds snakes and other animals. 

Bhitarkanika is a Ramsar site and the festival in the park is aimed at generating awareness among people on conservation of wildlife.

In a bid to attract more tourists, the authorities have built cottages at Habelikothi, Gupti and Dangamala. “We are also laying emphasis on sustainable tourism to generate employment for the locals,” said the Minister. 

In 1975, the Forest and Environment Ministry in collaboration with UNDP had started a crocodile breeding and rearing project in Dangamala within the park.

Owing to the success of the project, crocodile population has been increasing in the creeks, river and other water bodies of the park and its nearby areas. As per this year’s census, the park is home to 1,757 crocodiles. 

Nine years back, the Guinness Book on World Records had recorded a 23-foot long salt-water crocodile in Bhitarkanika as the largest in the world.

Panigrahi said the Tourism department has recently chalked out a plan to promote turtle tourism in the State as Odisha is home to  50 per cent of total world population of Olive Ridleys and around 90 per cent of the species’ Indian population. 

Noted crocodile researcher Dr Sudhakar Kar was felicitated at the festival for his role in conserving the crocodile and mangrove forests in the park.

Nature lovers’ paradise

  • Bhitarkanika National Park has India’s second largest mangrove forest 

  • The park has a sizeable population of crocodiles

  • As per census conducted this year, the park is home to 1,757 crocodiles

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